Playgrounds by Artists


Parkour’s First Appearance on Television in 1997

Today’s post is a mashup of ThrowbackThursday and PlaySculptureSaturday, but that’s too long for a hashtag!  Thanks to reader Mark for sending me the link to this intriguing piece of recent play history:  the first time parkour was featured on television in 1997.  Beginning at :053, the clip shows the runners scaling Pierre Szekely’s monumental Dame du Lac sculpture between Evry and Courcouronnes, considered by many to be the birthplace of the new play sport.   Szekely completed the sculpture in 1975, incorporating many of the ideas he had worked out in smaller play sculpture installations (see this previous Playscapes post on his work).  Though the invention of Parkour was still years away, the forms of his sculpture seem to have perfectly anticipate the free form running-climbing-jumping-swinging that would be adopted on the site, and spread eventually throughout the world, including to other sculpted landscapes like those of Lawrence Halprin in the United – Read the rest…


Is this the most beautiful basketba...

As if in answer to my plea of “why can’t playgrounds be more beautiful?” up springs a kaleidoscopic basketball court - Read the rest...

Pentalum: Playful Bliss at the Lawn...

Paige’s Note: Rounding out our set of play-enlivening-public-spaces this week is the recent installation of Pentalum at Boston’s Lawn on - Read the rest...

Hopscotch Performance Art, Marta Mi...

Last year artist Argentinian artist Marta Minujin filled the Palais Royal in Paris with 70 hopscotch games in her signature style of - Read the rest...

An artist designed playground and i...

Paige’s Note: In her latest “After the Deadline” column, play chronicler extraordinaire Susan Solomon talks about one of everyone’s favorite - Read the rest...

Patrick Dougherty Stick Sculpture, ...

Artist Patrick Dougherty’s Stickworks are always play-ful, but the whimsical maze-like construction at the Olympia Hands-on Children’s Museum in Olympia, Washington, - Read the rest...

"Shifting Sand Land" Super Mario Br...

Thanks to Arizona based artist Bobby Zokaites for submitting his “Shifting Sand Land”, a playground game system based upon the desert - Read the rest...

Quetzalcoatl, Collette Crutcher, Sa...

Another Aztec-inspired playscape is Collette Crutcher’s Quetzalcoatl: one of the most beautiful examples of playground mosaic that I know. The feathered - Read the rest...

Plaza Brasil Playground, Santiago C...

In 1993, artist Frederica Matta designed a series of 22 play elements for Santiago, Chile’s Plaza Brasil, all based on the - Read the rest...

Model for a Slide Mantra, Isamu Nog...

I never fail to be inspired by a visit to the Noguchi Museum, and by discussions with its committed, creative - Read the rest...

Space Age Playgrounds by Fred Schum...

Fred Schumm of Colorado Springs is one of those artists I love to rediscover…largely unknown characters, generally sculptors, who constructed - Read the rest...

Pumpkin Playhouse, Yayoi Kusama, Na...

Also in London, Yayoi Kusama was exhibited at the Victoria Miro. While I would characterize Kusama’s work (including her viral - Read the rest...

Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam's early cr...

For TBT, thanks to crochetconcupiscence for unearthing these images of Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam’s early work, as published in 1972 in The - Read the rest...

Elegant Playground Mapping, Perthsh...

Painted maps of the country or state are a standard way to pretty-up the playground surface, but I wouldn’t call - Read the rest...

Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, Harmonic ...

Toshiko‘s latest installation is at Rome’s Museum of Contemporary Art. ” Her sculptures are places rather than objects…” You can visit - Read the rest...

Colorful Skate Ramp, Palais de Toky...

I’m inspired by Ulla von Brandenburg‘s use of color in this temporary installation entitled Death of a King at the Palais de - Read the rest...

Stephen Wise Towers Playground, Con...

Artist Constantino Nivola sand-cast enormous sculptures for the likes of Olivetti and Yale. And, he made a playground… “The sculptural - Read the rest...

Peacock Slide, 1977, Gunnar Westman...

In writing the post about the new art playground at Nikolaj Plads, I was intrigued by the mention of a previous - Read the rest...

Recraforms: mid-century play sculpt...

I had an amazing weekend amongst the playgrounds of New York City, and was pleased to meet many of you - Read the rest...

Riverside Park Playground (as it co...

If you’re in NYC getting ready to attend the MoMA symposium and thinking about playgrounds, don’t fail to combine it - Read the rest...

Modern Czech Playground Design, c. ...

I’ll post a full summary of the interesting conversations from London Open for Play soon (including tales of those hardy - Read the rest...

Gary Webb, Squeaky Clean, Charlton ...

Wishing for that moment again, when “after generations of neglect, the public playground is suddenly in the midst of a - Read the rest...